Gilbert Highland and Mesa Mountain View will get plenty of use out of their gyms next week.
Both boys and girls teams from the schools are the regular-season basketball champions and have earned the right to host semifinals and finals of region tournament play.
Highland hosts the 5A-I Fiesta Region tournament Wednesday (girls semis), Thursday (boys semis) and Friday (boys and girls region finals). Mountain View hosts 5A-I East Valley Region games Wednesday (boys semis), Thursday (girls semis), Friday (boys finals) and Saturday (girls finals).
The No. 4 seed in the East Valley Region (boys and girls) will host the No. 5 seed Tuesday for the right to advance to the semifinals. The No. 4 seed for Fiesta Region girls hosts both the 4-5 seed games for boys and girls on Tuesday with the girls game at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:45 p.m.
All Fiesta Region schools (boys and girls) have qualified for state, regardless of the outcome of their region tournaments, based on their standings in the power-point rankings.
The East Valley Region still has several schools fighting for state playoff spots. Boys teams from Dobson, Westwood and Mesa, and girls teams from Red Mountain, Westwood and Mesa fit that description.
Playing it safe: Gilbert girls coach Tom Bunger has already intimated he may sit leading scorer Whitney Southerland during the region tournament to rest her bothersome knee. Mountain View coach Henry Bribiescas could do the same with Brittany Conger and her injured knee.
Last year, Tribune player of the Year Aaron Fuller of Mesa High broke his jaw in a region tournament title game and missed the state tournament game the following week. Mesa was eliminated in the first round by Chandler Basha.
Local hoop nominees: Several senior basketball players in the East Valley are among the initial Arizona nominees to participate in the annual McDonald's All-American Games in Miami, Fla.
Boys nominees are Chris Johnson (Gilbert Highland), Nick Markovich and Tyler Miller (Chandler Basha), Nuno Muandumba (Phoenix Pinnacle), Blake Davis, Byron Fulton and Demetrius Walker (Phoenix St. Mary's) and Gus Gabel (Scottsdale Chaparral). Girls nominees are Joy Burke (Tempe Marcos de Niza), Teanna Boxley (Mesa Westwood), Brittany Conger (Mesa Mountain View), Amy Patton (Tempe McClintock), Kim Pestalozzi (Tempe Corona del Sol) and Morgan Wohltman (Gilbert Highland). The games will be played April 1 at the University of Miami. A pool of 1,500 boys and 1,200 girls are part of the original nominations.
Team rosters (East and West) of 20 boys and 20 girls will be announced Feb. 19.